5 Crimes Committed by the Occupation against Palestinian Children Featured


Palestinian Children, War on Gaza, Digital Design, Gaza, Palestinian Children's Day

Palestinian children suffer greatly throughout Palestinian territories and are exposed to imminent dangers. In addition to the general targeting of Palestinians, the occupation specifically targets childhood in Palestine. It inflicts torture upon children and adolescents through deliberate killings, horrifying massacres, frequent arrests accompanied by physical and psychological assaults, as well as targeting their schools, curricula, and institutions advocating for their rights and social frameworks.

The suffering of children exacerbates in the absence of providers and the martyrdom of most family members, rendering them double victims of both the dire need for family and the occupier targeting them.

Here, we focus on 5 crimes committed by the occupation authorities against children in Palestine in conjunction with the "Palestinian Children's Day."

1- Murder:

With the death toll of the aggression on the Gaza Strip surpassing 33,000 martyrs, Palestinian medical sources indicate that more than 14,000 of them, including children, were killed by the occupation aircraft since the beginning of the aggression on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources also indicate that there are larger numbers under the rubble of homes due to the difficulty of retrieving the martyrs' bodies.

Child killing is not limited to Gaza alone. Occupation forces kill children in various Palestinian areas on flimsy pretexts. In 2023, the occupation forces killed 135 Palestinian children in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

2- Deprivation of Family Warmth:

The atrocities committed by the occupation authorities in Gaza are revealed day after day. The occupation has killed more than 9,000 women since the beginning of the aggression, including a large number of mothers. This means depriving the child of family warmth and stability. Since the beginning of the aggression, thousands of children have lost one or both parents. Estimates from UNRWA indicate that 17,000 orphans in the district have lost one or both parents. Additionally, a large number of children have been separated from their families due to the ground aggression and the cutting of Gaza's lifelines.

Many recorded videos have shown children arriving at Gaza hospitals below the age of speaking (most of them infants), with unknown families. Following these atrocious crimes, international bodies have begun using a new term abbreviated as "WCNSF," meaning "Wounded Child with No Surviving Family to Care for."

3- From Psychological Intimidation to Starvation:

Children are subjected to deliberate psychological intimidation, ranging from attacks by occupation forces, to the invasion and demolition of their homes, causing serious psychological traumas. According to specialists, the psychological condition of children in Palestine in general, and in the Gaza Strip in particular, has been severely affected by the aggression on the sector. In Gaza, children have exhibited symptoms such as excessive levels of continuous anxiety, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and experiencing severe emotional outbursts or panic attacks triggered by the sound of bombs and explosions. Many recorded videos shared by activists in Gaza have revealed children being martyred due to their extreme fear of the sounds of explosions.

Occupation authorities did not stop at these crimes alone; they exacerbated them with the crime of starvation. Palestinians in general, and children in particular, are deprived of sufficient food and clean water. This has led to the martyrdom of more than 15 children due to the famine striking the northern Gaza Strip. According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 31% of children under the age of two in northern Gaza suffer from severe malnutrition, meaning 1 in every 3 children. The prevalence rate of severe malnutrition among children under the age of five in the north has increased from 13% to 25%, according to the organization. The World Health Organization confirms that malnutrition has affected around 90% of children in Gaza.

4- Deprivation of Medical Care:

The occupation targeted the healthcare sector in the Gaza Strip to deprive Palestinians of any means of resilience against the Zionist killing machine. This has led to the spread of infectious diseases in the sector. According to the World Health Organization, 90% of children under the age of five are infected with at least one infectious disease. With the shortage of medications, these diseases ravage the bodies of children suffering from malnutrition.

Regarding the occupation's crimes and its intensified targeting of Palestinians, reports from UN organizations in January 2024 revealed that around a thousand children in Gaza have lost one or both of their legs since the beginning of the occupation's aggression. These reports also highlighted that most of the surgical operations for children were performed without anaesthesia, and emphasized the lack of medical teams and equipment in the Gaza Strip.

5- Arrests:

Occupation forces annually arrest hundreds of children from various occupied Palestinian territories. The occupation forces treat them with the same treatment received by Palestinian prisoners. They arrest sick children and underage girls, subjecting them to various physical and psychological assaults. This begins with brutal beatings upon their arrest, transferring them in military vehicles under continuous beatings and insults, all the way to interrogation centres where children are subjected to the most heinous forms of torture.

The violations against children do not stop there. The occupation authorities also impose heavy fines on the families of children, in addition to imposing house arrest and depriving them of continuing their education.


The Sources:

1- Sherine Observatory, Interactive Table. http://tinyurl.com/3srrpnhy

2- Al Jazeera Net, 3/4/2024. https://tinyurl.com/2rjrr9bn

3- Al Jazeera Net, 2/2/2024. https://tinyurl.com/4xhs8rtf

4- Al Jazeera Net, 7/3/2024. https://tinyurl.com/739brdkz

5- Anadolu Agency, 15/3/2024. https://tinyurl.com/2wn2rwj7

6- World Health Organization, 19/2/2024. https://tinyurl.com/3zyxfzht

7- Ali Ibrahim, Childhood under Occupation in Jerusalem, 1/5/2019. https://tinyurl.com/38wzj7vb


Read the Article in Arabic.